by Dan Ferguson
Own Side Now
Theory 8 Records
She writes and write songs like an old soul, yet, Nashville-based Caitlin Rose is just barely into her 20s. She tantalized folks with her lyricism and big voice on her debut EP (Dead Flowers, 2009) where she was equally at home be it singing tough or tender. Now along comes her full-length debut called Own Side Now on which she combines that fetching and versatile voice with lived-in songs running the emotional gamut to deliver a take-notice performance primed to perk ears. Highly recommended. Visit www.thecaitlinrose.com.
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Lost Highway Records
It begins with a funky ass-shaker brimming with punchy horns and all, before segueing into a down and dirty dose of Mississippi Hill Country-styled grind and bump blues. That opening couplet sets the stage for Scandalous, the sophomore offering of righteous and old school soul and R&B from Austin-based powder keg Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears. Equal parts Detroit, Memphis, and Mississippi Delta, Lewis and his Honeybears deliver the juke joint goods in force-of-nature fashion on this serious party starter of a record. Visit www.blackjoelewis.com.
(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 - 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)